By Morgan Macfarlane
A life of public service came full circle in January when Mike Rochholz was elected president of the Schoolcraft School Board.
Rochholz started on the Board of Education when he ran for a trustee seat in 2000. “I was seeking a public service opportunity as a way to give back to a community that has provided so much to my family,” said Rochholz.
Rochholz said, “Education is a process; a foundation that everything in life is built upon. I thought that I would attempt to impact educational opportunities in our district by serving on the Board if I was elected. I have also found this to be a very educational experience for myself.”
Currently Rochholz is serving his fourteenth year. Rochholz comes from a family immersed in public service. He has have lived in Schoolcraft for most of his life.
“My mother, Sandra Rochholz, was treasurer of the Village of Schoolcraft for 20 years. I can remember individuals coming to our house to pay their property taxes during the summer months, which is probably why I know so many of the members of this community today. My grandfather, Paul Sims, served on this very School Board in the late 1950s, and he served as the School Board President in 1959. Ironically I served as the Board President in 2009, exactly 50 years later.” He was also a trustee in Prairie Ronde Township in the 1980s, where he also served as the Prairie Ronde township clerk from 2004-2008.
Rochholz succeeds past Schoolcraft Board President Skip Fox whom he lauded. “Skip did an excellent job. Each one of us has strengths, abilities, and opinions. Ultimately as a Board, we are a very effective group. Skip did a great job of guiding this group of very dedicated individuals.”
As the newly elected president, Rochholz views his new job in a supporting role, facilitating meetings. Rochholz said he wants to make sure that all board members opinions are heard, and that all information is understood and accurate.
“For me, being president of the board is nothing special. As we are all equals at the table…we all have one vote, and the board speaks with one voice,” said Rochholz.
Rochholz said his favorite part of serving is, “Seeing the results of decisions that we made at the Board table, positively impacting the expected outcomes of our students. We are very fortunate in Schoolcraft to have engaged children, involved parents, a supportive community, and a dedicated staff and administration.”
“Having served as president of the Michigan Association of School Boards in 2007, I had the opportunity to travel this state and country, and I can tell you that we are extremely fortunate for the community and region that we live in. There are many great educational opportunities taking place in this region, with very good results.”
Looking to the future, Rochholz said the goals and plans for the Board of Education will be to continue to look at the school’s curriculum’s alignment with the Common Core state standards. In addition, Rochholz said, the board is also in the process of evaluating school facilities for possible upgrades and or enhancements.